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Timeline of the Lee Mansion

1764  Begin detailed planning for the Mansion and brick building and order materials.

1765  The cellars are dug; masons build the cellar walls and footings for the chimneys for both buildings.

1766  Start construction on the Mansion and brick building.

1766; Sept  Ashley Bowen is working on roof of brick kitchen.

1766; Oct.  Ashley Bowen is working on the roof of the Mansion.

1766; Dec.  By December the exterior of the Mansion was tight to the weather.

1767; July 23  Jeremiah purchases a 22 foot by 206 foot wedge to add to back of Mansion land.

1767; Winter  Completed construction of the brick building.

mansion320x2401768; Summer  Completed construction of Mansion.  Lee family occupies the Mansion.

1775; May 10  Jeremiah Lee died without a will (Intestate).

1775; June 17  Preliminary Inventory of estate completed.

1776; June 28  Final Inventory of Jeremiah Lee’s estate completed.

1779; June 17  Inventory presented to Superior Court of Judicature held at Ipswich.  Martha Lee, Joseph Lee, and Nathaniel Tracy appointed executors and empowered to sell land to pay Jeremiah’s debts.

1782; Jan. 6  Jeremiah’s estate was declared insolvent.

1783; May 12  The first big land sale occurred in May 1783 to Thomas Lewis.  It included the Lafayette house where Joseph Lee and his wife Hannah and four children had been living and a large number of other properties.  Thomas Lewis then sold his acquisition to Joseph Lee and Nathaniel Tracy in separate deeds.  Joseph purchased the Lafayette House where he lived among his properties.  Joseph then sold many of his properties including the Lafayette house to Nathaniel Tracy.

1785; June 15  Nathaniel Tracy and his brother took out a mortgage with John and Andrew Cabot to cover their own debts using the Mansion among many other properties as collateral.  At that point he did not own the Mansion.

1785; Aug. 16  Once more Thomas Lewis jumped into the breach.  He purchased the Mansion and the residual properties from the administrators of the Lee estate on August 16, 1785.  Lewis then sold the Mansion and most of the other properties to Nathaniel Tracy on August 26, 1785.

1786; Dec. 12  Apparently Nathaniel Tracy was unable to pay the mortgage to the Cabots.  He deeded the Mansion subject to an estate for life for Martha Lee and some other pledged properties to the Cabots.

1786  John Frances of R I visited the Mansion and noted in his diary there was a painting of Queen Esther over the best parlor fireplace.

1787; Dec. 31  John and Andrew Cabot sold the Mansion subject to the estate for life for Martha Lee and some other properties to Jacob Sheafe of Rockingham New Hampshire.

1791; Nov. 14  Martha Lee died on in Newbury, clearing the estate for life right restriction on the Mansion.

1793; Apr.17  Jacob Sheafe died and his many heirs transferred his properties including the Mansion to his son Jacob Sheafe.

1802; Nov. 17  Jacob Sheafe’s son kept the Mansion until November 17, 1802 when he deeded it and some other lands to George Erving of Boston then residing in London.

1803; Oct. 17  George Erving through his attorney subdivided the property into the Mansion and brick kitchen, outbuildings, and garden; and separated a lot for the barn on the Southwesterly end of the property.  He sold both lots and some other Marblehead lots to Samuel Sewall for $3400.

1804; Apr. 30  Samuel Sewall then sold the Mansion with land with a southwest border a line agreed to by him and Stephen Putnam to the Marblehead Bank directors for $5000.  (Book 173; Page 215)

1804  Samuel Sewall apparently sold the barn and residual land to Stephen Putnam.  Exactly what he sold to Stephen Putnam is unknown since he never recorded the deed.  Stephen Putnam used the barn as part of a livery operation on Rockaway St. up to his death.  His heirs could not find the deed.  They asked Samuel Sewall to generate a replacement deed.  (Book 203; Page 262)  The replacement deed was exchanged with the Putnam’s on June 30, 1813.  The date of the deed with Stephen Putnam given in the replacement was March 5, 1803.  The date of sale given was before Sewall had purchased the land from George Erving.  As a result the replacement deed was defective.

Early 1800s  After 1811 the bank converted the brick kitchen into a store and rented out.  In 1818 it was a West India Goods Store.

After 1813  The barn was torn down.  The land allocated for it would allow for a 33 ft. by 36 ft. barn.  The actual size of the barn is unknown.  If it were the maximum dimensions it would have been only 30 ft. from the West corner of the Mansion and would have extended almost to today’s brick wall near Rockaway St.  Before 1850 the Marblehead Bank had claimed the land.  How is unknown.

JLM_Bank1840’s  The Marblehead Bank installed a large brick vault in the rooms at the southwest end of the counting room.  The vaulted brick supports in the cellar went to the northwest cellar wall allowing for a very long vault. They are still in the cellar.  The Bank installed a door to the left of the fireplace in the best parlor to access the vault.  The paneling cut out for the door was retained and stored in the shed where it was found in 1915.

Before 1845  A shed was constructed from the West corner of the brick store (ex-brick kitchen) almost to the north corner of the Mansion.  The back side of the shed was next to the retaining wall.  The shed was probably built before 1845.

Early 1850’s  The Gothic Revival style iron fence was installed in front of the Mansion.

1852  The Marblehead Bank hired William Thompson Bartol to paint the paneling in a simulated wood-grain in the large best parlor.

Mid 1860’s  The Marblehead Bank was chartered as a National Bank.

1871  The Marblehead Savings bank was chartered as a Massachusetts bank in 1871.  It shared the Marblehead National Bank vault and occupied the Family Parlor.  This caused the Cashier to lose his parlor.  To give him additional space, a new kitchen was built in the back of the bank (It is now called the Guide’s Kitchen).  Entrance was through the shed and a passageway that connected to the new kitchen.  Entrance to the Mansion from the new kitchen is through an opening that was originally a window.  There is a bit of information that before the mid 1840’s’s there was an ell that contained a kitchen in the same area, but it was destroyed.  There is no information about it.

1880s-90s  Woodwork of stair-hall was painted by Mr. Thomas Pitman of Marblehead and perhaps some wallpaper was repaired at that time as well.

1895; Mar.8  From the Marblehead Messenger: “Vandals who have been stealing the antique paper from the walls at the hallway of the Lee Mansion have accomplished so much in the last year and have torn the paper so badly that the owners have been compelled to take the matter in hand to try and save what there is left.  Mr. Joseph Wormstead’s men are now at work taking off the paper that has been left on the lower hall-way and using it to patch up the torn places in the upper hall.  It is a slow job and a fine piece of workmanship to make the result a satisfactory one.  The lower hallway will then be newly papered with something more modern.  The woodwork is also being scraped and will be polished.  When all is done the public will be kept from ascending the stairway by wirework like a bank railing.”

1895 or later  A balustrade with a gate was installed across the entry hall a couple of feet in front of the stairs.

Saving and Restoring the Lee Mansion

1898  The Historical Society of Marblehead was formed from a subcommittee of the Abbott Public Library Trustees.

1900-1909  From 1900 to 1909 the Marblehead Historical Society was leasing space on the second story of the brick building on the Jeremiah Lee Property from the Marblehead National Bank.

The space was used to house and display its collection

1904; Jan 16  The Marblehead National Bank announced it was going to cease operation on March 4 and go into voluntary liquidation.  No one was expected to lose any money.

1908; Sept.  The Marblehead National Bank had a survey performed on its property and subdivided it into three lots.  Lot 1 contained the Mansion and a big piece of land.  Lot 2 contained the brick store and a small piece of land.  Lot 3 was a 40 foot strip at the Rockaway St end of the property.

Lee_House_21909; July 13  The Marblehead Historical Society purchased Lot 1 containing the Mansion from the Marblehead National Bank for $5500.

1909  The Society immediately issued notice to two tenants to vacate the building.  By the end of the month tours were started for an admission fee of 10 cents.

The Historic Society cleaned up the Mansion, removed temporary petitions the Bank had installed and repaired damage.

Wallpaper in the stair-hall, large hall chamber, parlor chamber, and probably on the 3rd floor was conserved by Mr. Thomas Pitman, Marblehead (ref. pencil notes on plaster under wallpaper)

1910; Jan. 12  The Historic Society signed a power of sale mortgage for $2500 from Herbert Humphrey.  This provided much needed capital to help finance the purchase and continue restoring the Mansion.

1910; Feb. 17  The Historic Society purchased Lot 3, a 40 foot strip, from the Marblehead National Bank for $750.

1910  The exterior of the Mansion was painted.

Three or four rooms were already in order.

Wall paper for one of the chambers was given by Mr. Bixby of Salem.

A committee of 3 ladies was appointed to select paper for all rooms in the Mansion needing re-papering.”

Mr. Sherburne reburnished all brasses.

Tiles for all the fireplaces were given by individual members.

The Mansion was opened for visitors in July 1910.  (Admission 10 cents)

1911  The lower Hall was re-papered with paper reproduced for this purpose.

Wallpaper in the upper hall was restored by Thomas Pitman.

1912  A number of fine articles were bequeathed by Miss Sarah Fettyplace on the condition they be placed in a specific room by themselves and be called the Fettyplace room.  The room chosen was the one over the kitchen.

The town passed over the Gerry fire engine for safekeeping.  It was kept in the shed.

Thirty eight black and white postcards of the Mansion were produced for sale, eight of them being pictures of the paneled wallpaper.  They sold well.  Also a booklet on the history of the Mansion containing 13 views was produced.

1913; Sept 2  The mortgage was paid off and discharged.

1913  The Iron fence was repaired.  An old lantern with a modern light was placed over the front entrance.

1914; Sept. 22  The Marblehead National Bank sold Lot 2 containing the brick store to Fred Litchman for an unknown price.

1914; Sept. 30  The Historic Society purchased a 17.5 ft. strip 70.5 ft. long with a long two story building on it from Alice Graves for $1000.  She was paid in installments over several years.  It stood on the raised area just inside the brick wall.

1914  Water was installed in the Mansion.

1915  The two story building on the Graves property was torn down.

1915  The panels removed from the best parlor for the vault door in the 1800’s were found in the shed.  Plans were made to reinstall them when the vault room was restored.  For unknown reasons the door wasn’t removed and they weren’t used.

1916; May 3  The Graves property came with a 4 ft. easement over the Brown estate land outside it.  This was swapped with the Brown estate for the rest of the 17.5 foot strip for no charge.  The Brown estate land became the parking area outside the brick wall that now belongs to the Town of Marblehead.

1916  The stone wall that was the old Southwest border of the Marblehead National Bank was torn down and the material used to create two walls.  One went from the East corner of the wall extending out from the Mansion along the sidewalk to the Northeast corner of the property.  The second extended the existing wall on the Southeast side of the Mansion to the end of the Graves property.

1916  The brick vault was removed from the room at the back of the counting room and the bricks saved.

1917  The bricks from the vault were used to build the 108 ft. long brick wall at the Rockaway St end of the property.  The old corner post which stood at the corner of Pleasant and Washington was moved to the sunken garden and used as the base of the sundial.  The sunken garden, steps up to the raised area next to the brick wall and garden landscaping were completed in conjunction with the wall.

Mr. Wallace Nutting took pictures of the house using his own models.  One was a Miss Alden descended from the John and Pricilla Alden of Plymouth

1919  Concrete seats, two new vases and a bird-bath were added to the garden.

Photographs were taken of the garden at this time.

1920  Three of the second floor rooms and the stairs were given a needed coat of paint.

1921  The East room and directors (Outside counting) rooms were renovated; walls and floor were painted and varnished.

1921-1922  Wallpapers were cleaned.

Reproductions were made “from the original blocks” (pink pagoda pattern & green trailing vine – by Strahan)

Reproduction paper “replaced the originals” in original rooms.

Fragments were put into frames (unframed shortly after 1982)

The vault room was restored according to the plans of J. Howland Jones, turning it into two rooms in their “original” appearance as nearly as possible.  The vault went the full width of the counting room.  A dummy fireplace was built in the southerly of the two rooms and faced with tiles obtained through the energies of Mr. Lindsey from various sources in town.

Lee Mansion Improvements,

Conservation and Maintenance

After 1922 the Mansion was in presentable condition.  The efforts since then have been directed at improving its presentation and historical correctness while addressing building problems by restoration, conservation and maintenance.  The following list addresses the major efforts.  Recurring maintenance items like painting and minor repairs are not listed except the last time they were performed.  This gives a reference for the next time it needs to be done.

1924  The Wall surrounding the garden was thoroughly gone over and retouched.

1926  A worm eaten part of attic floor was given a coat of oil or varnish for preservation.

1927  Top placed on the east chimney, “saving much cold and snow in the kitchen and other fireplaces”

The corridors on the third floor were shellacked preserving the old stencil pattern.

Pictured wallpaper in Mr. Lee’s second floor bedroom was revealed by removal of bedroom furniture. (Room 203)

1928  A handrail was placed on the stairs to the cellar. (“This part of the house is proving more and more of an attraction”)

A wood railing and gate was added to the small staircase leading to the third floor as protection for the open stairs.

Panels (20th c. painted murals) of the lower hall were retouched by Marion Martin Brown and/or William Young,  later a conservator at the MFA]

1929  Iron gate made by Burnham & Parker, Mhd., for west stone wall attached to the Mansion.  (Gate dedicated to Benjamin Lindsay)

Glass was installed over paper on the walls of the guest room (210) and part of the upper hall. (202)

1929-33  Glass panels were installed over most of the handpainted wallpaper by Irving & Casson, Boston & NYC, over the hall wallpaper.

1930-1931  Wallpaper in the guest room (210) and the other front bedroom on the second floor was treated by experts.

Mrs. Marion Martin Brown retouched five panels of wallpaper in the upstairs Hall Chamber before covering.

1933  Work was done on the wallpaper by Irving and Casson.

1934  The back hall was re-papered from top to bottom and ceilings on third floor were whitened.

Remaining panels on the second floor living room were covered with glass.

1937  Several tiles were replaced [added] in the dining room (102). (Mrs. Crowninshield)

1938  1938 Hurricane wind and water damage was repaired.  The boundary fence between the Mansion and Litchmans was blown down in the 1938 hurricane.

1939  The old kitchen was painted.  Marbleizing on the fireplace mantle was also done by Cole & Anderson.

1940  Reproductions of brass hinges & handles were made by Edward Guy & Sons for $42.50.

Restoration of the second floor rooms was begun in July.  Details are in the report of Restoration Committee.  The province of the Restoration Committee includes the hall, the family dining room, and the second floor except the Fettyplace Room.  “The Rearrangement Committee is to cooperate in placing furniture not desired in the period rooms.”

The Society was given first refusal by the Marblehead Savings Bank on its old brick building next to the Lee brick building for $5000.  After more than a year of negotiation, the offer was turned down.

1941  Rodney Sharpe of Wilmington, DE made a gift of hand painted wallpaper for a small room on the 2nd floor.  (Mrs. Crowninshield connection)

 The original Lee portraits were offered to the Society for 25,000.

1941 Jun  The Gerry fire engine was removed from the shed between the brick store and the Mansion after it was declared a fire hazard and moved to the fire house.

1941-1942  The shed was torn down.

1942 Feb  The GAR room in the Town House was bequeathed to the Society.

A gift Of the Bank’s old boiler and grillwork was made to the town.

1943  The retaining wall between the Mansion property and the Boles property next door (now lower garden) was rebuilt.  (Gift of Mrs. Crowninshield)

1942 & 44  1st floor entry hall floor & main stairs refinished – wax stripped, stained and finished.

1944; Aug 3  A gift of copies of the Lee portraits was accepted from Elizabeth Lee Grinnel of New York.

1944; Aug 18  The portraits arrived in 6X9 foot boxes weighing a total of 676 pounds.  They were stored in the second floor Fettyplace room leaning against the wall.

Stair treads and landing were resurfaced, planed and refinished

1945  Mrs. Everett Paine gave a new gate to the garden.  (Also one of donors of west gate in 1929)

1946  Mrs. Crowninshield located a polychrome tile in New York said to come from the Lee Mansion and matching in color the tiles on the second floor to which it was added.

A car crashed into the stone wall on Washington Street on Dec.12.

1947  A section of the wall was rebuilt.

1948  The attic beams were thoroughly cleaned of carpenter ants, and the broken beams reinforced.

1949  The copies of the Lee Portraits (possibly by Chester Harding) were restored and hung in the best parlor.

The best parlor floor was replaced by R.T. Adams Co., Boston for $796 – L.D.C.

1951  The chimney on the western side of house was declared unsafe by the Fire Dept. and Mr. Peach, the mason.  The Fireplace in the best parlor had been used periodically by MHS people as needed, previous to this (and after).  A damper was added to the chimney in the best parlor.

Mr. Peach repaired the small chimney in the Guide’s kitchen for $50 and a warm workroom resulted.

Five panes of the palladian window had holes from a BB gun.

1952  A Gas heater was installed to heat the office (left room at the back of the counting room) and hostess room (counting room).  The register grate (2 ½’ x 1 ½’ deep) was just outside the office door.  (Open flame!)

1953  Indoor plumbing facilities including a toilet, sink, and faucets were installed in the work room/kitchen.  This entailed installing a bathroom and removal of the chimney.

1954  The “Necessary” (mid-19th c.) was torn down and the cavity was filled with cinders.

1954  Louise DuPont Crowninshield recommended, supervised, & funded projects: they included the floors in the banquet room, the hall, the stairs, and the upstairs hall.

1954  Carpenter ants were found in the cellar and attic.

Hurricane wind and water damage was repaired.

1955  A rope railing was installed in the back staircase.  Prior to this there had been three falls.  One knocked out a woman.

Five broken windows caused by rocks.

1956  “Inspection & recommendations” – by Roy W. Baker – (Crowninshield arranged)

(Recommendations still applicable)

  1. Cellar – wood posts should be removed and replaced with lally columns with proper footings; large steel plates at top of lally columns should be added where necessary
  2. Cellar – plaster ceilings should be taken down to expose timbers (for ventilation)

1957  The brick wall was repaired after car crashed into it. (Covered by insurance)

A car crashed into the stone wall on Washington Street on Dec.12.

1958  Floors in entry hall and best parlor stained.

1960  Master bedroom redecorated; 200 yards given by Mr. DuPont for draperies

“1768” date created with stones in herb garden

1961  Brick wall repairs continued

Stone wall at rear of garden was repaired.  (Over several years)

The iron fence was repaired after snow plow damage.  (Covered by insurance)

Clocks in the Mansion were repaired.

1962  The Jeremiah Lee Mansion was designated a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1962.  A bronze plaque indicating the designation hangs to the right of the main entrance.

1964  The copies of the Lee portraits were moved from the best parlor to the entry hall.

UV-light inhibiting film coating was installed on 2nd floor windows by Sun Control, Inc.

1965  A gas heater was installed in Guide’s kitchen (Bette H. says no heater in 1970s or 80s)

1965-1966  Reproduction wallpaper on muslin, made in France, was installed in the downstairs entry hall by Edward K. Perry & Co.

1966  The Lee portraits were moved to the stair landing. (Narcissa Chamberlin / Henry DuPont paid.)

Museum rooms and hallway floors were sanded, scraped & painted.

Store-room floor painted (3rd floor).

1966  Negotiations with Ray Orne to buy the brick store (Lot 3 of the Lee property) failed.

1968; Dec. 20  The last addition to the Mansion property was made in 1968.  The Mary Boles estate was subdivided by a survey making the piece next to the rear of the Mansion properties (Lot 2) available to the Society.  Lot 2 was purchased for $13,527 (a dollar a square foot) on December 20, 1968.  This piece of land is now the lower garden.  A loan was taken out from the National Grand Bank to pay for it.

1969  The brick wall (Rockaway) was re-pointed and repaired, & cement top patched.

1970  Installed electric box in attic w/ 4 circuit breakers & a new line to Frost room

Installed electric wiring on 3rd floor – behind stairway & in closet and outlets in hall

Lights placed on 3rd floor to illuminate portraits

1971  Wrought-iron railing was placed on the front steps, based on a “1768” drawing by Emerson T. Oliver after a photo/design recommended by Mrs. Chamberlain.

1972  New back Garden landscape design celebrated with major garden party Sept. 10

1973  Remove wood fungi, wood borers in attic; floor dangerous

1974  Iron fence repaired.  ($68)  (B. Peach)

1975  Made floor plan; measured rooms; traced architectural drawing made by A.C. Haskell in 1933.  A plan was made of cellar, vaults, and posts.

Fence replaced, east side  ($793)  (H. Haskell)

Fence painted, east side – Cabots Stain #1432 Chelsea Gray ($150-200)

1976  New fence in lower garden, west side.  ($900)

1977  Front gate post repaired – plow damage.

1978  Copper water pipes were installed (Bartlett & Steadman) with separate ½” line to kitchen/bathroom and outside faucet on Litchman side, and ¾” line to front faucet and rear faucets.  ($295.18)  A separate meter goes to guide’s kitchen so household water meter reading can be subtracted from main meter for accurate sewer charge.  (To avoid unnecessary sewer charge for garden water)

1979  Replaced cedar post footings in cellar with concrete footings.  (Bill Peach)  (Posts had gone through brick cellar floor & rested on dirt subsurface; these support first floor beams.)

Sprinkler system piping separated from house plumbing (but additional meter not added until 1991).

1980  Fence along Summer St. side of property completed.

Restoration of earthen banking in sunken garden completed.

1982  The front hall’s pine floor was oil stained dark walnut and paste waxed.  ($75) McGuire/Rich, Salem.

1983-1985  Many rooms were painted

1984  Granite plinths of front iron fence banded with iron collars ($600 Capizzi & Co, Acton)

Complete pointing of front of house foundation ($2,400 incl. ‘mortar in/on 2 side walls’ Capizzi)

1985  UV panels were installed in windows

Steps on east side of Mansion (side door) rebuilt.

1986  Mhd. Garden Club equipment lockers placed under guide’s kitchen wing – $250.

Beach stones at northeast steps in herb garden reset.  (cost to replace, including grading of the area – $600)

1986-1991  The glass over the hand painted wallpaper was removed and most of the hand painted wallpaper was conserved.  The conservation was performed by Northeast Document Conservation Center led by T. K. McClintock.

1987  Bill Peach to make two new finials for stone wall “pineapple” ornaments.

Capizzi & Co., Acton, took down the solid stone wall (to the top of foundation) perpendicular to the street on the right side of the dooryard garden and rebuilt another wall in the same place but with an opening to match the one on the opposite (left) side. $4,650  Re-hung iron gate at sidewalk.  Crane set a granite step from gate into herb garden.  $125

1988  Glass was removed from wallpapered walls in Central entry hall 101,201/2. ($350)

Stairway to cupola – sections of peeling wallpaper re-pasted – ($25)

Creation of passage in eastern wall for memorial gate ($5,265) Capizzi and Co. (demolition), Lynn Ornamental Iron (gate) and McGann Co. (bronze plaque); East gate given in memory to Eleanor “Gwin Ellis” by her son Charles.

1989  A wallpaper border was installed that blends with re-produced papers in Central entry hall 101,201/2. ($1000)

1990  Reinforced floor joists in best parlor from underneath

Cellar beam repaired; one chimney repaired.

New sundial for sunken garden

Lawn sprinklers installed

1991  Iron fence repair & painting (North Shore Ornamental Iron Works)

1992  Counting Room office 107, 108, 109: electrical heating installed

Counting Room office 108 & 109: electrical wiring for computer

Yellow bedroom 3rd floor:  bed and windows covered with yellow check

Green bedroom 3rd floor:  bed, window squabs, barrel chair covered with light purple toile (pattern called “America Presented at Hall of Liberty”)

Brick wall repairs

Sprinkler system improvements were made.

Iron fence finials located and stored in kitchen closet.  [subsequently moved to JLM attic]

Gravel walk was installed behind the kitchen, cost $565.50

1993  A work room/kitchen gas heater was installed (self-contained unit; gas pipe directly from street/meter).

New Kitchen plumbing adapted for winter use.

Gas heater installed in the counting room and two adjoining rooms, with heat distributed by baseboards.

In the attic new lights and two exhaust fans were installed in the roof.

Second floor kitchen Chamber wiring installed for house committee use

1996  The brick steps in west garden were repaired. –

1997  The following work performed ($690) Prizito Electric, Inc.  Lynn:

  • Installation of new sub-feeder panel in basement
  • Traced circuits and marked panel boards
  • Wired third floor stairway light to motion sensor device in Collections

1998; Mar. 3  The Marblehead Historical Society purchased 170 Washington Street from Sandra B. Williams, Trustee for Howl Enterprises Realty Trust for $410,000.  (Book 14631; Page 542)  The Societies offices were moved from the Mansion to 170 Washington.

1998  Lightning rods installed (($3,140) American Steeple & Tower Co., Inc., Salem.

Lighting installed in kitchen chamber and main room of chamber suite above the kitchen.

Black mesh light-inhibiting shades now on all three floors

New pea-stone in front garden – (David Peach – donated)

1999  A new security system installed in the entire house.  (Essex Alarm)

Phone service was installed in guide’s kitchen

2000  Wood fence installed between Litchman’s and the Mansion and a tree removed ($4,220)

The Electric & gas heating systems were removed from the counting room and small room.  It remains in the old office.  (Thermostat set at constant 54º)

Painting of Counting Rm., first floor spice room and workroom (ceilings, walls and woodwork); second floor small room above the spice room (ceiling); and third floor hallway (1/2 of ceiling) ($6,650).

Cellar ceiling insulation removed from between floor joists.

Three rooms’ floors, approx. 400 s. f. were buffed, stained dark walnut and three coats of oil poly satin applied.  ($1,000) William Bergeron, Classic Wood Floors, Lynnfield

2001  Pest infestation of powder-post beetles in cellar wood; treatment planned in 2002

2002  New underground electric lines were connected to 1974 underground connections.

A conduit tube was installed under the sidewalk, before the new sidewalks were installed.  Cable also.

A telephone extension was added on the 3rd floor (top of east stairs)

2003-2004  The 1840s Gothic revival cast iron fence in front of the Mansion suffered damage to the gate and central right section when a large 1980s Cadillac backed into it while attempting to park.  No parts were missing, so no new castings had to be made.  The insurance only covered repair to the post and gate.  Other damage to the fence was not repaired. (Cassidy Bros. Forge; Rowley, MA)

2004  An underground telephone cable was installed inside the basement ($175)

Stone benches were-set in the herb garden

The tulip tree in front left garden, west side, was taken down in Dec. – B. McCarthy arranged & paid for the removal.

2005  The Iron fence was re-aligned (1 post, left side, 3rd post over) after being hit by a Town bobcat snow plow.  Stone wall corner was repaired, after snow plow / iron fence damage as above.  Ted Peach.  $885.

2006  Ash tree removal ($1,200) (paid for by event lessee) Carpenter-Costin Co

The Mansion was painted.

A new chandelier was installed in the front foyer; a new light unit was installed over the front door; the thermostat replaced in the office, a fan was installed in the cupola. ($530) Prizito Electric, Inc.  Lynn

2005-2006  The Mansion wallpaper in the third floor hall was conserved.  A pilot project in wallpaper conservation techniques was performed on the South panel behind the desk in the hall outside the guest room.

2001-2009  The Mansion windows and sashes on the Southwest, Northeast and Southeast sides (except for two windows on the second floor North side) were conserved.

2009  Conservation of both chimney caps was completed.  Details: top courses of brick in the flues and rims were rebuilt, with vertical wafer ventilators between bricks on each face, and new metal caps were fabricated and attached with mortar and screws.  Flashing was repaired, and the two chimneys’ cement coating cleaned, consolidated and patched. Deteriorated mortar under the roofline (attic) was re-pointed. ($15,000)

The upper garden bed along Washington St. was re-planted

2012-2013  The Demilune window was conserved and reinstalled in the Mansion.

2014  The GAR room in the Townhouse was renovated.

2015  The palladian window on the staircase landing in the Mansion was conserved.

2016  The windows on the Northwest side of the Mansion had the putty removed and were reputtied and painted.

2016-2017  The JOJ Frost Gallery in 170 Washington St. was redone.  A new roof was installed over the gallery.

Information for this summary came from:

Marblehead Historical Society Board of Directors minutes

The Marblehead Historical Society; by1898-1998 by Betty Hunt

Mansion Maintenance History Notes by Judy Anderson

South Essex Registry of Deeds

Various Marblehead Maps and Atlases

The Neighbors of Jeremiah Lee and the Boundaries of his Property-Essex Inst. Historical Coll; April, 1969; N. Chamberlin

Growing up in the Lee Mansion- Essex Inst. Historical Coll. Oct 1982; Stephen Trefry